Transcend Autumn Festival

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2014 by truceatthemargins

My company, Lupus Albus is in urgent need for funding to be able to keep the songwriting workshops that I run going in 2015. I have organised a festival of live music at the beautiful St Giles in the Fields, on the corner of Denmark Street for October 31st and November 1st.

Please come. Bring your friends. Bring your enemies, let them melt into friends.

The workshops give so much to the homeless people who attend. They are passionate about them. They ask me why there can’t be more than once a month and my heart breaks a little every time. I would love to be able to offer these workshops every fortnight and to actually be able to pay everyone involved as well as myself.

You can hear the songs recorded here: http://www.soundcloud.come/trucerecords

I have been blessed with the generosity of spirit and incredible talent of my musician friends from Denmark Street who give up their time to come help provide music and melody for songs that are written in the workshops.

This gig is also a homage to them. Every band performing in this festival contains a musician who has helped me do these workshops. We will also have performances from St Mungo’s Broadway clients who have participated in the workshops.

Be good to see you there.

All my love and hope.

Natalie

Poster Transcend JPEG

Fundraiser for Songwriting Workshops

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 by truceatthemargins

The Dash

In March of this year, following a gig they kindly played for some homeless men in a hostel that is a registered care home in Camden, Danny and the boys from Daytona Lights http://www.facebook.com/DaytonaLights organised a fundraising gig to raise money for my songwriting workshops.

The wonderful Marc, from The Dash http://www.facebook.com/wearethedash who has been so instrumental in previous songwriting workshops joined the crusade and also performed alongside friends of the band called Little Victory http://www.facebook.com/littlevictory.

The night was a great success and raised enough money for two more workshops which would allow us to compile enough songs to create an album and release this on itunes. The idea being that these songs will help fund future workshops.

I cannot thank Dan, Laurence, Marc and all the boys who performed that night enough. In a time riddled with talk of recession and funding cuts, I can become discouraged about the viability of my dreams for this work. But then people like Dan, Laurence and Marc remind me how kind can be with their time and their talent.

You all deserve the best, not least because you’re not just kind you also make great music!

I would also like to thank the good people at The Wheelbarrow http://www.wheelbarrowlondon.com/ for having us and for being so helpful on the night. It all contributed to a great atmosphere.

Some photos here courtesy of Matilda Bernstrom:

The Dash

 

Daytona Lights

 

The Dash

 

Reel Deal Film Group Screening

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2011 by truceatthemargins

It has been a while since last I wrote on this blog.

Reasons being that times have become uncertain. The one constant in the world of creative workshops and sessions with homeless people has always been the Film Group. But it seems even this is now hanging in the balance. I don’t know how many more metaphors I can come up with for the meaning of precarious but think of your favourite and that is it.

I originally intended this screening to be no more than an opportunity to screen the films in a public space for the sense of pride and achievement that it would give the film group members.

However as things stand, more than this I’d like it to maybe reach a few others. To that end my friend Andrew James Jones has designed this little publicity leaflet. It has been hard to gather troops at last minute but I’m hoping a few supportive faces and even better a couple of new ones will turn up to tomorrow’s screening.

Help save the Reel Deal film group

The kind people at the Curzon Soho are allowing us to screen them from the projector in the lobby downstairs.  We will introduce the short films made by the members of the film group at 5pm and the films will then be shown on loop until 7pm. If anyone has any supportive offers to help fund the expenses of running the group (some food for lunch or bus passes) or equipment expenses or indeed feels like paying my time so I can continue to run it that would be the dream. The ultimate dream.

If not, not to worry, watch films, laugh, don’t laugh, mingle, stand in a corner whatever your presence requires.

I’ll be the one looking flustered.

Thank you

Natalie

The obligatory Christmas Gig 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2011 by truceatthemargins

Well it took a while to get the photos so here we go.

The Christmas Gig of Endell Street 2010.

8 Acts.

2 St Mungo’s residents performing.

Gingerbread cookies.

The usual chaos; picking up free sandwiches from Eat while leaving Chaz to perform and hoping to god he doesn’t swear in his songs as in the past.

Having a very determined young man wanting to rap and the need to find people to accompany.

Some behind the scenes ethical dilemmas.

It was quieter than other years. Around 25 residents in total through the night watching but quietly. I think this year has been a sad one for many but it was still enjoyed and ultimately that’s all that matters.

The photos were taken by Matilda Bernstrom.

The acts were as follows:

Chaz John Ross and Vinnie Dignam from The Coolness

Kien Lim

Jimmy O

Emily C Smith

Esther Wangui

Marc and Gav from The Dash

Slimstar rapping with Marc and Gave accompanying on guitar

Jonny Cola and the A Grades

Yeah and She Has Red Lips Too

I am a bit fever-ridden so I’m not going to gush. I may just add my gush on in a future edit of this post. But of course I still find it so touching that so many people are happy to play and even accompany for free. I would also like to say a big thank you to Val Gilbert for Sound Engineering all night long and to Kiran who assisted me all night long.

Not forgetting my right hand Jonny O Brien.

Thanking you all and hoping 2011 let’s everyone catch a break…..

Nat xxx

Esther and Marc sing and play for Black History Month

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2010 by truceatthemargins

The most beautiful Esther was asked and agreed to sing for Black History Month.

My gracious friend Marc, who had met Esther the previous week to put a song she wrote in the songwriting workshop held at the Peabody Trust to music, came to accompany her.

Esther is originally from Kenya and writes prolifically, spiritually and passionately. Her talent and her gentle, warm, tender voice are enough to move anyone, particularly the sentimental messy ball of string that is the person writing this blog….I went upstairs to take scones and hear the two rehearse, and Esther gave me a book of songs she had written to flick through, I came across a song she wrote to her children, and upon reading it and looking at photos of her family wasn’t really able to see through the tears for the next half hour or so….can’t take me anywhere.

Anyway, here are some photos of Marc and Esther, two of the best human beings I know. Marc came in on his day off, and threw himself into working with Esther, even as his band The Dash  http://www.myspace.com/the_dash is taking off and he is swamped with gigs and rehearsals and promotion and work. But as Esther said, he is a talented yet humble person with a kind, giving personality and I am very lucky to count him as a friend.

Enjoy and go buy The Dash EP Notes from the Bunker on amazon! http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2Fgp%2Fbestsellers%2Fdmusic%2F118611031%2Fref%3Dpd_ts_pg_5%3Fie%3DUTF8%26pg%3D5&h=1bec4

Vocal Looping Workshop for The Peabody Trust

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2010 by truceatthemargins

So my first job as an independent consultant has been to provide workshops as part of a music production course called On Track funded by the Peabody Trust for 18-24 year olds. It’s been a bit of an experiment, it’s a pilot and I’ve just been the luckiest person to have pretty amazing friends.

Last Wednesday, my friend Kassia came up from Brighton especially for us to do a vocal looping workshop for the clients.

Quite honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect, I got that it involved pedals, I got that there would be vocals, but that was about it.

Hell of a lot more to it than that though. Wow. Kassia gave us an example of what she does.

She basically layered up sounds like some sort of beautiful tiered cake, or like building a sculpture from armature to varnish. She built up vocal beats, sounds, singing, and then improvised song over all of this while simultaneously bringing in or cutting out some of the sounds she was looping.

I watched these young men be just as blown away as me by it. It’s like watching colours being built up. Astonishing.

Then Kas got us all involved by starting again with each person making a sound or beat into the microphone that she could loop. She then sang over this again. Matt, the tutor of the production part of the programme was equally astounded. I don’t think any of us had expected to be so inspired.

Kas and I left the building and went to get a coffee and talk over what next.

I think I was high on that day for the next three hours. We talked so fast you’d have needed to rewind and play in slow motion to hear everything we said.

And the best bit is that the clients, these young men, very much into produced music, synthesised sounds, got to watch something actually emerge from their own imaginations.

Can’t really find more words right now, if I do I’ll add them. But it’s getting to be that I’m running out of adjectives for days as glorious as these.

Check out her myspace:  http://www.myspace.com/buntylooping

Thanks Kas x

All photos copyright Tristan Giblin

Songwriting Workshop for Action Week

Posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2010 by truceatthemargins

Oops I accidentally wrote snog rather than songwriting but that goes to show the Freudian passion I have for this work!

Yes so as a follow up to the first pilot workshop I carried out at Endell Street a few months ago I was asked back by Matt Catlow, who runs the music recording studio in the basement in Endell Street to provide another workshop with the wonderful songwriting tutor Chris Gregory.

This time we had a brief to create one song with the entire group, trying to incorporate everybody’s tastes and styles of music in one song as well as everybody’s writing.

We had a rough plan which then developed into a full blown idea when we started each writing lyrics and then decided to do a Bowiesque cutting and pasting.

It was such an amazing day. It was very hot in the little room, and we had an injured seagull chick in the corner.

My incredibly talented and beautiful friends Caz and Jez from the band Yeah and She Has Red Lips Too came to help put the song to music and they actually helped sing one of the verses and Jez lent us his guitar skills. www.myspace.com/yeahandshehasredlipstoo

We spent a day writing and coming up with the melody and the next day in the recording studio. We consumed a fair amount of Percy Pigs sweets, strawberries and copious amounts of water and coffee.

I’m not sure days get much better than these workshops. Maybe they do but I find it hard to believe.

There’s this ephemeral energy and comradery. This solidarity or liminal euphoria. I don’t know I’ve spent a fair amount of time in anthropological books trying to find the right combination of words. None of them really fit. All I do know is it cements bonds between everyone in that room and at the end of it  you have a song to listen to to remind you of it all. And to share with other people.

Go to this site and have a listen to it:

Written on the Streets – St Mungo’s Opening doors for homeless people

I’m very moved by this workshop and everyone involved. Their humility and patience and pure enthusiasm and energy for it are what make it so indescribably magic.

Thank you.  x